Friday, July 30, 2010

Adam's first face plant

You knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. This morning before nap time Adam was walking on the hard wood floor, tripped, and took a good nose dive straight down on his face. Little bit of a bloody nose, and his sharp front teeth smacked right into his upper lip and cut it open. Fat lip and a blood blister. We rocked a little and he was good to go. What a trooper! Of course he wouldn't hold still to get a good picture of his first fat lip.

PMOT picnic

Last Saturday the Peoria Mothers of Twins (PMOT) group I belong to had a picnic at a local park. I haven't been able to attend too many events so far so I was excited about packing up the kids and heading to the park as a family, dad included. Really they should rename the group to PMOM - Peoria Mothers of Multiples so those moms with higher order multiples can fit in with the name.

Man it was hot and humid that day - upper 90s. I thought we had everything packed...
Sunscreen - check
Water for all of us - check
Stroller - check
Blanket - check
Lawn chairs - check
Dish to pass - check
Sunglasses for all of us - check

Okay, I think we have everything! Let's roll!

Can anyone figure out what we were missing? The camera!

The kids got to play on their first big playground equipment - down a little slide, through a tunnel. We were just hoping that we could keep track of both of them fast enough when we didn't know which way they were going to crawl next. They were too little for the bouncy house but maybe next year. Of course they loved the brownie. And one of our friends from church who is now recording children's music - Julie K - was there to entertain us. The kids really loved her music. Sara started bouncing up and down as soon as she started singing. We'll have to get a CD. Check out her site at juliekmusic.com.

We had a lot of fun and the kids were worn out. Here's a few photos from the PMOT photographer for the day. That's me in my new bright orange shirt (I love orange!) and Shannon in the Colt's hat. I had no idea I had lettering on the back of my shirt! :)


What's Cookie Monster up to now?

I wrote a previous post about my outrage in noticing that on size 3 Pampers diapers, Cookie Monster is holding an apple instead of a cookie. I mean, he's Cookie Monster for pete's sake. Apparently it's some movement to teach kids that cookies are a sometimes food. Seriously. Like a kid less than 20 pounds is going to bend himself in half to see a cookie on his diaper and that is going to cause obesity or lack of will power toward food later in life. One of these days you are going to find me picketing outside Pampers' headquarters with a sign that reads "Let Cookie Monster eat a cookie!" I can see the newspaper headlines now..."Peoria mom of twins goes postal on Pampers."

Anyway, the outrage continues now that I moved Sara to size 4 diapers. I must say they fit her full-figured hiney quite nicely. Adam and his little white bum remain in the 3s. Typical since some of his shorts are still 6 or 9 months because the 12 months fall at his ankles. Apparently, the next size of diapers takes on a music theme. Cookie Monster is playing the maracas - big yellow ones! And Elmo has a tambourine. Maybe this is going to turn one of my kids into some kind of crazed musician. Or worse yet, a musician wanna-be...a roadie! I would have to say Sara does have good rhythm and I swore that when Glo Worm stopped playing the other night, Sara was still humming the songs. Then again, I am a mom talking about picketing Pampers so maybe I'm just a little off lately and imaging things!

I would have to say that my preference would be that they make the different size diapers some sort of different color. Can I get an "amen" from all the moms out there with multiple kids in varying size of diapers? That teeny little number on the front is hard to find sometimes. And remembering whether the 3s are the food or the music might be a challenge. I guess when I put a 4 on Adam and there is no possible way it's going to get tight enough, I'll know I picked the wrong one. Or I could just label our diaper caddy nicely so I don't have to give visitors the low down. Nah, that's way too anal...or is it? Guess you'll have to visit to find out!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Adam's first walking video

Live from the living room early this evening...


Girl, you got bed head!

Ah, sleeping. For some reason the past 2 weeks have been a roller coaster ride. Just a phase like anything else with kids, I'm sure. Some nights they seem tired and ready for bed at 7:30 but then won't get to sleep until 9 or after. Some nights they go right down and wake up later. Maybe at 9 for an hour. Maybe at 2 for an hour and a half. Maybe at midnight for four hours. This particular evening Adam woke up at 4:30am crying so loud that he woke Sara. Must have been a dream I think. I finally got him back to sleep at 6. Shannon didn't have any luck with Sara so I took over. We finally fell back asleep together on the couch at 6:30 for a few hours. Shannon rolled out of bed at 8:30 - I couldn't believe it was so late. I hesitated leaving her on the couch by herself to eat a bowl of cereal but it didn't appear she was going anywhere at the moment.



And then when she did roll of the couch with a big grin, oh my!



A visit from an old friend


Lisa is back in town from the mission field for a few weeks and we were fortunate enough to get on her and Tom's calendar to catch up and visit. She couldn't believe how much the kids had grown. We all had dinner together, talked about what's been going on, played, and the kids reminisced over a horsie ride. Lots of great memories from when Lisa would come to the house to watch the kids 1 or 2 days a week and help with whatever odds and ends I needed. She's been gone 5 months and it still feels like there's a bit of a void in our lives!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learn to walk in less than an hour

What a good day. Sheri, our physical therapist came for an appointment to check in on Adam. This is the first time we have touched base for about 2 1/2 months due to sorting out some billing paperwork. Of course he has made progress since we saw her last, Sara especially has made HUGE strides. We shared how Adam first took walking steps the first weekend in June. While he is fully capable, he just takes the easy way out and walks on his knees. She asked if we thought he was still making gradual progress or if he was kind of stuck. Both Shannon and I agreed that he has plateaued.

After Adam got done flirting with her (he's such a ham!) she just watched him play. Then she started enticing him. He was standing at the little music table and once she distracted him, she would scoot the table out in front of him so he had to take a few steps to get to it. Over and over again until they were all the way across the room. And then he found her retractable name badge - what a fun toy! We used that to encourage him to walk to wherever she had laid it down. Her biggest suggestion was to not help him walk by putting your hands under his arms. Instead, she has found great success with toddlers when you put your hand under their butt and encourage them to stay upright rather than collapse back to crawling. Before she left, Adam was walking on his knees. I encouraged him by saying "up, up, up" and, while still moving, he stepped up on one leg and then the other, and walked the rest of the room to me. Even tonight he was initiating walking on his own more. Really, really exciting!

I think a few days of encouraging him and celebrating his successes and he will be walking easily. He has the advantage that he already has great balance.

Sheri rated his gross motor development at 14 months. She feels like that is a really good place to be. If you do the math with me, Adam is just shy of 16 months old. They will correct his age for his prematurity with developmental assessments until he is 2 so she considers him to be almost 13 months old. That puts him on target or just a little ahead. She likes to see those premature kids start to push ahead of their assessment around this time so by the time they are 2 and the correction is taken away, they are caught up.

There you have it. One physical therapy session. 45 minutes. And your toddler could be walking, too!

Sheri rocks!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Walking practice

We finally have filmed evidence of walking practice. You know, I thought for sure Adam would be walking first. Sara was so behind with crawling. And Adam first started taking steps the first weekend in June. But now he just walks on his knees and no matter how much we try to coax him, he will only walk when he is distracted and when he feels like it. On his terms and no one else's! In the meantime, Sara has been practicing standing. She doesn't even give herself time to balance - just stands right up all wobbly and then when she gets there, claps for herself! So she has definitely been showing more desire and more initiative. While Adam is fully capable of walking and could if he wanted to, I think it's going to be Sara's desire that eventually wins out! Any other voters?


Daddy's little girl

Sara loves sitting on Shannon's shoulders. She snuggles in and pats him on the head!

Pillow talk

The kids have loved their monkey and lady bug pillows for a long time. But lately they are especially funny laying down on them. They will each lay on one, then switch. Every now and then they both lay on the same one but sometimes Sara gets mad if Adam hogs the one she already claimed. Even a rolled up blanket on the floor, they will flop on it and snuggle.



Can you spare a square?

Who would have thought that a big 12 pack of Cottonelle would have kept a boy so busy. Up the hallway. Down the hallway. Load it in the wagon. Push the wagon. Take it out of the wagon. Sit on it. Probably a good 25 minutes of time occupied.


This one's for Grama Sue

Grama Sue is a Cubs fan. Enough said.

You really can't, in my opinion, just decide to wear your Cubs jersey. There has to be an occasion. Those occasions don't seem to occur very often. Kind of like the...well I won't say it. Those of you who like to tease Cubs fans can interject various comments there.

Dan is a Cubs fan. When we were invited to their house for lunch recently, we decided to take advantage of that and break out the outfits. And, of course, pictures to commemorate the event for Grama Sue.









Sara wasn't too happy that Adam was touching the wagon she wanted to be in by herself. A little sympathy for the girl - she was running a fever of 103.

Can I have a tissue?

Shannon was mowing the other night after dinner and I was trying to get the kids ready for bed by myself. Adam was on the changing table not wanting to lay still. Then he grabbed the Tylenol bottle as I was trying to give him some and spilled it all over himself and the changing table while also smearing it on the wall. In the middle of clean up, I hear an odd noise.

Whooop...whooop...whooop

I think it had been going on for a while.

Whooop

What the heck is that? I looked around the room and there was Sara, half hidden behind the rocking chair pulling out kleenex from the box. One by one. The box was already half empty.

Whooop

Sara.

She grinned. Whoop...whoop

Sara Mak.

She giggled. Whoop...whoop

By the time I finished with Adam and got to her, all but 2 were gone from the box. Then as I'm trying to pick them up and salvage what I could, she decides she is going to shred as many pieces as she could before I took them away. Oh well, might as well capture the moment at this point.




Climbing and blowin kisses

They have decided in the past week that they are going to explore the playground set they got for their birthday. Adam likes to kneel backwards in the swing. Sara prefers to stand backwards in the swing. She has also figured out how to climb up the slide and up the rock wall. If she sees Adam trying to climb up, she will quickly go to the other side, beat him to the platform and sit up there smiling at him, claiming her spot. Unfortunately, then she tries to come back down the rock wall the same way she got up - dangles a leg over and then just stands and tries to walk down it. I tried piling stuff in front of it when I wasn't in the room, but they would just climb over whatever was there or slide it out of the way. After a few spills, we have moved the playground until they are slightly older. I just can't keep them off it when I'm in the kitchen making a meal and would rather they get supervised time instead of getting hurt.




The other night my friend Dawn stopped by. She went to leave and Sara looked at her and blew her the perfect kiss. Totally surprised me! While we had been working on it for a while, she showed no interested in doing it herself until that time. Of course it was a treat for Dawn! Even Adam has been getting in on the fun. Both kids before bedtime will gave Shannon a nice smack on the lips - so cute!








Other milestones lately - Adam has another tooth coming on the bottom. That's #7 for him while Sara holds at 8. And they have been pointing to body parts. The other morning I was nursing Sara and I said to her "sounds like you have something in your nose" and she reached right up and pointed to her nose. Both kids are working on their nose, their hair, and their tummy. I say eye from time to time but because they have a tendency to actually push on their eye and poke it, I'm not crazy about that one right now.

4th of July in Wisconsin

I know we are well beyond the 4th by now but things have been a little hectic at home. I have been trying to catch up from being gone, the kids have off and on not been sleeping well, and we've snuck a few days of running fevers in there, too. Of course now the computer that has the 4th of July pictures on it isn't working so you will just have to keep your attention with just words and then I'll add a few photos later. They are posted on the Picasa site so you can jump over there and see the candids of everything we did.

After the kids had their 15 month pediatrician appointment on the 1st, we packed up the car and the 3 of us headed to my aunt's house in Lake Geneva, WI for a vacation. They slept the entire way there except the last 20 minutes of the 3 hour drive AND I didn't have to stop for a bathroom break...2 bonuses in one car trip!

Friday we just chilled and got used to our new surroundings.

Saturday morning we got dressed in our party clothes and headed to my cousin Beth's house. Her youngest daughter, Clara, was celebrating her 2nd birthday. The ride was long enough to sneak in a nap plus a little extra when we parked in the drive and left the door open to snooze a little longer. A breeze flowing through the car and outdoor noises make for some restful slumber. Lots of people to see, good food to eat, swingsets to play on, and a bouncy house to explore. We borrowed Grama and Grampa Mollenhauer's travel high chairs from Iowa and they were a big help holding down curious 15 month olds during mealtime numerous times.

After Saturday afternoon nap, we packed up for the short drive down to the beach for their annual pig roast. The kids got a front row seat in front of the DJ and were able to get in some good people watching. Fortunately, the music was just the right volume and Sara, especially, liked bobbing and weaving during dinner time. The kids dipped their toes in the lake for the first time, and then we said what the heck and took their clothes off so they could play a little. Adam stole a cupcake when I couldn't get to him fast enough and shoved as much of it in his mouth as he could fit. That's my boy!

Sunday brought a fun excursion to the Sharon 4th of July parade. I think the kids thought it was a little more exciting than I did. Tractors, fire trucks, 1 band, more tractors, more fire trucks, and the Walworth County Cloggers. I was pretty tractor and fire-trucked out! Most of my cousin Beth's and Emily's kids dance with the Cloggers so they were walking in the parade throwing candy while the older cloggers (who have more balance to clog on a moving platform and not fall off) did their thing. We also sat with my uncle Bob, Robyn's twin. None of us were very happy when one of the trucks in the parade decided to absolutely soak us with water. Usually past a certain age no one wants to sit drenched in their underwear looking like a drowned rat no matter how warm of a day it is but I guess the people running the hose thought otherwise.

Sunday evening Emily came over with her clan and they lit off a bunch of fireworks in the road. Adam and Sara heard the commotion and wanted to climb on the couch to see the action. Of course there was only 1 night out of the 6 we were there that they went right down to sleep at night and stayed asleep. That portion of the trip was pretty exhausting. It is quite hilarious sleeping in the same room with them, though, as they are "praire dogging" up out of their pack n play. When they stand up, they are only tall enough that you can see their head. So when they are supposed to be laying down to sleep, they would rather pop up and down and laugh. And the nights that it seemed like they went to sleep a little earlier, then one of them would get up at 5 or 6 the next morning.

Let's see...we're up to Monday of our vacation. Emily's oldest, Jordyn spent the night Sunday night so she could help me with my twins while Robyn went to work at the Lake Geneva Pie Company (yum!) in the morning. We all had breakfast together, went for a walk, and then Jordyn and I did a fun project taping wild flowers onto a piece of paper while the kids had a morning nap. In the afternoon, we all hopped in the car and drove to Barrington to roam the LLBean store. Mama got a new pair of shoes and a bright orange shirt. Sara got a couple $3 tank tops for next summer. Adam had to settle for a ride on a big red tri-cycle while he was there.

Tuesday we laid low during the day and then went swimming in the lake after dinner. Emily and her three joined us, as well as Emily's brother Jason, his wife Amber, and their daughter Alisha. Afterwards we roasted THE biggest s'mores you have ever seen in your life! The swim must have worn the kids out because they were down for the count by 7:30.

Wednesday I packed up to head home a day earlier than planned so I could attend a funeral. We were going to join Jordyn, Peyton, and Morgan for a little pre-dinner swim and their swim lessons and then head home. Unfortunately, the thunderstorms had a different idea. So we had dinner at Emily's house, put on pajamas, and headed back to Peoria around 7. Got home at 10. Adam had no problem transitioning from his car seat to bed. Sara was a little confused after being gone for a week and couldn't figure out where she was. We spent until midnight getting her settled back in.

I thought the kids did great while we were away from home and they stayed flexible with the various things we did. I'm not sure how many times I picked up the same bowls they kept pulling out of the kitchen cupboards! I did miss Shannon and the break he provides for me at times, especially with washing dishes! But it had been a long time since I had a long stay at my aunt's house. It really made me appreciate not working full time and having a job that is flexible enough that I can run away and enjoy fun with my extended family.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No glasses for Adam

Our visit with the eye doctor this afternoon revealed exciting news...Adam can remain glasses-free. His eyesight had improved 50%. While he still has slight vision problems, it isn't enough to warrant correction at this time. Yeah!

He was such a good boy when getting the drops in to have his eyes dilated. And he sat still while multiple people examined his eyes.

It was a little odd to only have 1 child with me. Sara stayed home with my mom while she was visiting. It felt like I had all this extra time on my hands just keeping track of one child rather than constantly being aware of 2 heading in opposite directions!

Adam also thought it would be fun to play with the equipment. He crawled under the doctor's desk and pushed some lever. Next thing I know, a light comes on behind a window at the far end of the office and a lamb starts baaing. He and I just stared at it. I walked down that way and he looked in the little window. Didn't think it was amusing. Rather disturbing actually. I thought it might be on a timer and go off after a few times making the noise. But no. We waited and waited. Finally the doctor came in and just laughed.

He goes back in a year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

News flash - mobility update

I'm behind on posting about our 4th of July trip but I thought I would post quick...someone was practicing their walking this afternoon!

Who could it be?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Can I get an interpreter?

It appears Sara is now using the red wagon as her soap box. This is her favorite thing to do lately. If you look at her and nod or respond somehow, her story could go on all the way up to the next nap or meal time!



Friday, July 9, 2010

15 month pediatrician visit

The kids visited Dr. Neese last Thursday for a routine check up. Of course my usual frustration with the nurse's questions that are for their actual age. Are they walking? No. Adam could but he doesn't feel like it. Can they climb stairs? I'm trying to keep track of 2 kids on flat ground. Why would I want to let them loose on stairs? Are they saying 12-15 words? No. Well, how many are they saying? 3-4. Oh. One of these times I'm just going to ignore her questions and just say yes to all of them. What's the difference anyway?

Both kids weighed in at 20lb 8oz, that's a 3lb 2oz gain in 12 weeks for Sara and a 3lb 8oz gain for Adam. That puts Sara in the 22nd percentile for other girls her age and the 80th percentile on the preemie chart. For Adam, that is 7% for other boys his age and 75% on the preemie chart. The nurse measured them both at 30" long but you can tell clearly when they stand next to each other that they aren't the same height. So with my aunt's help, we laid them on her kitchen counter and used the yard stick and dry erase marker method to say Sara is 29.5" and Adam is 30". That growth of 1.5" for both kids in 12 weeks and puts them in the 75-80th percentile on the preemie chart. Way to go, kids!

Dr. Neese showed me a graph of Adam's length measurements since birth. A line 45 degrees straight up and to the right! Where's the curve or leveling off? He just laughed. They are doing exceptionally well with their measurements to be in the 10-30% range with other kids their age. Usually they consider them caught up by age 2, but it appears they may reach that mark early.

I asked about Adam's brain bleed and whether that would show up on an MRI later in life if he would ever need one. Dr. Neese didn't think so. He has had other preemie graduates with an IVH get an MRI for headaches and no scarring showed up.

I also asked about a spot I found on Adam's tongue recently. It almost looked like a cancor sore on the middle of his tongue. Dr. Neese nodded like he knew exactly what I was talking about. It's called "geographic tongue". It is a spot on the tongue where the taste buds have changed and can flare up with stress. For Adam, teething would be a stressor at this point in his life. Only 3% of the population have it and there is no known cause.. It can change spots on the tongue. Nothing to be concerned about but some foods may irritate it.

We also talked extensively about Adam's sleep habits. The week before we visited the doctor we were really struggling with his overnight sleeping again. He would fall asleep and wake up about 1 hour after going to bed. Then we couldn't get him back to sleep until 11:30 or 12 at night. It seemed to be a clingy thing. Dr. Neese feels it could be night terrors, which start at this age, and actually occur about 1 hr 15 min after going to sleep, when they are in their deepest sleep. If it continues, we can go in when he has been sleeping a little less than an hour and stir him just a little to bring him out of that really deep sleep.

No concerns with Sara. She is crawling and pulling herself up and cruising along so much more than just a few months ago so huge strides in that department. A little picky with eating but getting better and she just picks what she wants off her plate. And boy is she talking and making noises - video to come later!

Upcoming doctor visits:
July 22 - Adam sees the eye doctor to check his astigmatism and whether he will need glasses.
July 27 - The physical therapist comes to the house for an assessment.
August 3 - Adam's next appointment at Easter Seals to monitor his development.